The Tri-Valley provides a bounty of summer delights whatever one’s preferences. From picnics to ice cream to sunshine to hiking to swimming to wine sipping in a beautiful vineyard, local residents can enjoy all those activities and more now that Alameda and Contra Costa counties have relaxed pandemic-related guidelines.
Tri-Valley public officials and community leaders have been busy working together to support local businesses as a variety of Tri-Valley attractions have begun to open. While some restrictions remain, locals have much more freedom now to enjoy nearby activities. The region’s residents also have more incentives to go out, thanks to new and upcoming programs.
The Bankhead Theater in Livermore reopened in May for films and will begin hosting live performances in July. In addition to other films, the Bankhead’s annual summer family film series features October Sky in June, The Goonies in July, and The Muppet Movie, in August. Following state guidelines, only 100 tickets distributed across the 507-seat theater will be sold for each showing, making it a special event indeed.
Livermore Valley wineries and breweries recently began serving customers indoors again after Alameda County moved into the orange tier of California’s Covid-19 risk assessment system, which allows businesses across the county to operate with loosened restrictions. Wineries and breweries can now operate indoors, at up to 25% maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower, according to the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.
Of course, summer is also a perfect time to be outdoors in the Tri-Valley. Many East Bay Regional Parks are open for exploration. While still closed to swimming, for example, the East Side of the beautiful Del Valle Regional Park is open for day use. Cyclists, equestrians, walkers, and hikers can now enjoy the gorgeous views again. Dublin Hills Regional Park is another lovely area filled with great picnic spots. Those who prefer not to pack their own meals, can get a handy list of local restaurants offering take-out at the Visit Tri-Valley website.
Local vineyards also offer many opportunities to enjoy the fresh air with outdoor wine tastings all summer long. One upcoming major event is the 39th Harvest Wine Celebration on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. On that day, Livermore Valley wineries will celebrate the crush season and host activities that will include wine tasting, arts, crafts, and live music.
Live music is also an attraction Thursday evenings during the City of Dublin's 2021 Summer Concert Series, held at the Dublin Farmers' Market at Emerald Glen Park. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 Summer Concert Series will have measures in place to ensure compliance with State and Local Health Guidance and patron safety. On Friday nights, Dublin’s annual Picnic Flix summer movie series also takes place at Emerald Glen Park. The eight films for 2021 include Trolls, Moana, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
The Weekend on Main program returned to Pleasanton at the end of April to give downtown restaurants and shops more space to expand operations outdoors. Each Friday at 5 pm through Sunday at 8 pm, through Labor Day, Main Street will be closed to vehicles. Businesses and their customers are required to follow all safety protocols put in place by the county and state.
Created by the Pleasanton Downtown Association (PDA) and supported by city officials, the PDA hopes the Weekend on Main program will become an annual tradition. “Closing Main Street to cars and allowing foot traffic only creates a European feel,” says PDA President Terri Terry, owner of Cellar Door. “PDA supports this event because it promotes unique access to our local restaurants and retailers, and it is fun for the whole family.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City of Pleasanton has provided nearly $1.3 million to local Pleasanton businesses through the City’s Covid-19 Business Support Loan Program in an effort to supplement county, state, and federal pandemic business resources, according to Pamela Ott, Deputy City Manager. Additionally, the City implemented initiatives to encourage community support of Pleasanton businesses through the Shop Small Support Local campaign and the Weekend on Main event.
“As California looks toward further reopening, the City continues to assist local businesses with new initiatives, such as To Pleasanton with Love, encouraging residents to rediscover their city through a free savings pass and making a promise to spend an additional $25 each week at local businesses, and Gift Pleasanton, a citywide e-gift card coming soon to keep spending in Pleasanton,” says Ott.
To Pleasanton with Love is part of a broader Tri-Valley business promotion campaign called To Tri-Valley with Love. Nearly 100 businesses throughout the Tri-Valley have agreed to take part in the campaign, which asks residents to promise to spend $25 a week more than usual at local businesses. The campaign includes special deals to help make the $25 go further. Each time a resident shops at a local business and checks in with a Promise Pass, the resident’s name will be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card to a business chosen by the winner (with some restrictions).
The Pleasanton Downtown Association is looking forward to an announcement from State, County, and City Officials about additional reopening potentially as soon as June 15. Depending on what restrictions remain, the PDA is eager to bring back more events for the community to enjoy. “As of today, we have our eye set on Concerts in the Park and the October Brewfest as top priorities,” says Terry.
Whatever happens next, there are plenty of warm-weather activities planned for Tri-Valley locals. Visit Tri-Valley is a great first stop to discover fun events, reconnect with favorite restaurants, and find out about new venues. Each Tri-Valley city has also lined up a variety of family friendly events to make this a memorable summer.
For more information about the Bankhead Theater, please visit www.livermorearts.org.
For more information about the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and winery-related events, please visit www.lvwine.org.
For more information about the East Bay Regional Park District, please visit www.ebparks.org.
For more information about City of Dublin special events, please visit www.dublin.ca.gov/90/Parks-Community-Services.
For more information about Pleasanton’s Weekend on Main, please visit www.pleasantondowntown.net/event/details/534.
For more information about the To Pleasanton with Love campaign, please visit www.topleasantonwithlove.com.
For more information about the Gift Pleasanton e-card program launching in June, please visit www.inpleasanton.com.
For more information about Visit Tri-Valley, please visit www.visittrivalley.com.